Tomorrow, When the War Began breaks DVD sales record

By Brendan Swift

Tomorrow, When The War Began now holds the record for the biggest first week sales for an Australian independently produced and financed film after selling almost 105,000 DVD copies since its release on December 30.

Tomorrow, based on the popular John Marsden novel, was the highest grossing local film at the box office in 2010, taking almost $13.5 million. Its first week of DVD sales would rank in the top ten releases of 2010, according to Paramount Home Entertainment Australia.

Baz Luhrmann’s Australia still holds the biggest first week DVD sales record although Tomorrow is outperforming it based on the industry measure of sales relative to box office takings.

The previous record was held by George Miller's animated Happy Feet, which sold about 95,000 copies in its first week in 2007.

Paramount Home Entertainment Australia managing director Paul Muller said the result was "extraordinary".

"It dispels the notion that Australians do not like to watch Australian movies – it just proves that they want them to speak to them directly and be unashamedly adrenaline fuelled and entertaining," he said in a statement.

The film, backed by local conglomerate Omnilab Media, was named ‘Best Film’ at the 2010 Inside Film Awards and also won ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ for writer-director Stuart Beattie at the 2010 AFI Awards.

The film has been sold to several overseas territories although a US distribution deal has yet to be announced.

Omnilab Media’s executive producer Christopher Mapp said the fans reaction to the DVD has been most encouraging. "I have been reading the posts on our Tomorrow, When the War Began official Facebook site, which currently sits at almost 90,000 fans and the passion and hunger for the property is inspiring.”